I really don’t think I need to go too much into the Daytona as pretty much everyone, watch enthusiast or not, knows or has at least heard about this watch. It has always been the case that the ultimate Rolex is ironically not a solid gold President Day-Date, but the Cosmograph Daytona. With waitlists in the years to authorized dealers these days not even entertaining you unless you’ve bought another (or a few) Rolex before, the Daytona is without a doubt the most desirable and hardest to get Rolex in the market today. Period.
However, I believe it remains crucial to briefly reiterate the Daytona's origin story. In 1959, the Daytona International Speedway emerged as the swiftest racing track in the United States, and in 1962, it became renowned for hosting the esteemed “Rolex 24 At Daytona” endurance race. Recognizing the significance of this racing venue, Rolex was designated as the official timepiece/timekeeper of the Daytona International Speedway. In 1963, Rolex solidified its connection to the illustrious racetrack by christening its newly introduced racing chronograph as the Cosmograph Daytona.
The Daytona we have on offer today represents a slight departure from the stainless steel or gold models that are typically seen. Why? Because this is the Daytona Ref. 116506 in platinum, which also happens to be one of my all-time favourite Daytonas.
In 2013, Rolex introduced the Daytona Platinum Ref. 116506 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its legendary Daytona collection. Since its release, it has gained significant attention and remains highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide, despite being a somewhat controversial timepiece. The controversy revolves around the use of platinum, which is considered a “noble” metal, as the case material for Rolex's renowned sports chronograph. However, it is often the case that such controversies only serve to enhance its allure for those who appreciate the unique combination.
The Daytona Platinum Ref. 116506 showcases a refined and sophisticated design with its 40mm platinum 950 case. It features an exquisite ice blue dial complemented by a chestnut brown Cerachrom bezel and sub-dials. Positioned prominently in the centre is the iconic red "Daytona" inscription, just above the small-seconds sub-dial. Notably, the use of an ice blue dial is exclusively reserved for platinum models, serving as a distinctive marker for collectors that this colour is unique to platinum variations. This further enhances the exclusivity and desirability of the watch.
The Rolex Daytona has solidified its position as the flagship and iconic timepiece of Rolex, thanks in part to its remarkable history and association with renowned individuals throughout the years. On the wrist, with all of the hype and history aside, it is just a downright handsome watch, plain and simple. With its 40mm size, the Daytona fits perfectly on the wrist and possesses a design language that aligns with other legendary creations like the 911 Porsche and Fender Stratocaster. This particular model becomes even more exceptional with its ice-blue dial and substantial platinum case. While I often mention that white gold is the discreetly luxurious metal of choice, opting for platinum, if possible, adds an extra level of distinction. In my opinion, it effortlessly flies under the radar and imparts a sense of exclusivity. Furthermore, every time you wear it, the weight of the platinum case and bracelet serves as a constant reminder that this is not just an ordinary contemporary Daytona—it is something truly extraordinary.